The Big Deck Chair is in the open-air Royal Theatre in Winton, one of 2 remaining open-air theatres of its type remaining in Australia. The other is in Broome.
Not long celebrated 100 years, the Royal Theatre was first established in 1918.
The theatre is open as a museum you can wander through from the Gift and Gem and Gem Walk. The best time to go though is on Wednesday nights between April and October for a nostalgia night.
During intermissions (remember them?), you are invited to go see inside the projection room and be shown what is involved in operating them.
Luke Miller was the projectionist showing us on the night we were there. He happened to be on the tour to Lark Quarry with us too, learning to be a guide for that as well.
Other nights have screenings also with more recent movies shown, such as Black Hawk Down and Venom.
The 18 metre high Big Deck Chair was constructed by the Free Masons Taskforce of Victoria for an event. They didn’t know what to do with it when one of the members visited the theatre and through it would be a good home for it.
There was another big deck chair in Mildura, Victoria, but we’re not sure if it is still there after it was removed in 2016. It is only two-thirds of the Big Deck Chair in Winton.
We have used a photo from Wikipedia for the feature photo for the time being as we have some photos stored away and are not accessible right now. We’ll update it when we get the photos again.
See the Winton Movies Inc Facebook page for details of events coming up. There are special nights in addition to the Wednesday nostalgia nights.
To get there:
From the west (Cloncurry or Boulia) along Landsborough Hwy, veer left (straight ahead) when reaching Winton onto Elderslie St. The Royal Theatre is in 500m on the left.
From the East (Longreach) along Landsborough Hwy, turn left when entering town to head towards Cloncurry. Follow for 1.2km and turn right into Elderslie St with the brown sign for Waltzing Matilda Centre. Follow Elderslie St for 800m with the Royal Theatre on the right.
From the north (Hughenden) along Kennedy Development Rd, cross over the railway line and continue for another 1.3km before turning right into Elderslie St at the sign for Town Centre.
Cost: Adult $8.00, Child $5.00, prices can vary for different events
Hours: Apr-Oct Mon, Wed, Fri 7pm-10pm
Wheelchair accessible: Yes, not into the projection room